Mark Keresman

Mark Keresman

For a fellow who’s been recording since 1963, pianist Denny Zeitlin (from the Chicago area, btw) doesn’t have a huge discography it must be his parallel gig keeping him from the keys: psychiatry. (But he did find time to compose the electronica-laced score the creepy 1978 remake of Invasion of the Body Snatchers.) More recent history, Zeitlin has kept an exemplary super-exemplary, in fact trio performing & recording for about five years. Bass ace Buster Williams
This David Berkman fellow you’d better be on the lookout for him. However, he might be too tasteful and unassuming for his own good like piano aces Cedar Walton and Larry Willis, he’s got tremendous technique but he uses it to serve the music, not his ego, and like them, his style is so unfailingly lyrical, imaginative yet unhurried, subtle, tasty and tasteful, it’d be easy to take him for granted in a world with so many other, more effusive, "dynamic" piano masters.

At Chicago’s

This young Mr. Chris Potter has proven his tenor saxophonic mettle on many recordings, both on his own and in the service of Dave Holland and Dave Douglas. Though he has several fine discs under his own leadership, the only one (thus far) that’s knocked me for a loop is his latest, Underground (Sunnyside), which has my vote for the year’s most dazzling disc du jazz. While even edgiest musicians these days prove themselves to be predictable, Potter is

For those who’ve been taking an extended nap, drummer Matt Wilson has been establishing himself as, in the words of serious-minded critics, an exciting presence on the American scene. Whether he’s tapping the tubs for big daddies such as Dewey Redman, Lee Konitz, and Denny Zeitlin or leading a couple of very different but engaging quartets, Illinois-bred drummer/leader/composer Wilson is indeed a major contender.

How? Why? The answer lay on a cold, rain, snow, and slee

First off, the "obvious" intro-type stuff: Pat Metheny is one of Our Time’s primo jazz guitarists and bandleaders, a virtual "jazz ambassador" in that he’s valued by hardcore jazz fans as well as casual jazz fans and folk who aren’t particularly jazz fans at all. While a dedicated jazz musician, Metheny’s approach encompasses influences of folk, rock, country, and "free" improvisation, and accents bright, engaging, festive melodies. Further, he makes full use of the available sound-altering tech

Call it "the people’s alternative concert space," even if it is at a chain store. Many Borders stores host not only touring authors, but also touring singers & players from time to time. Best part is: "it don’t cost nothing." This particular Borders in Chicago, the relatively new uptown store, played host to the outstandingly talented Brazilian singer/guitarist/songwriter Badi Assad, in town for the Chicago World Music Festival.

Ms. Assad i

Savina Yannatou is a singer from Greece who has background in classical (baroque/Renaissance era), folk music of Europe & the Middle East, and jazz/free improv. She and her band endeavor to unpretentiously weave all these strands together for a tapestry virtually [hyperbole alert!] unparalleled in modern music. Ms. Yannatou’s vocal talents had the breadth of an unusually eclectic ethnomusicologist, the chops of Patty Waters, Diamanda Galas, Joan La Barbara, and (dare I say) Yoko Ono and most imp
To paraphrase somebody 'r' other, reality makes strange bedfellows. Producer Adrian Sherwood has twiddled the knobs for some of the trippiest dub ever to emanate from the British Isles (African Headcharge, Creation Rebel, Prince Far I) and he's done production work for nominally more "pop" acts Nine Inch Nails and Ministry. And as hard for it might be to believe for anyone under 30, there was a trio of real musicians at the core of the earliest and most influential hip-hop records (Grandmaster F
Another weekend night at one of America's coolest jazz clubs, the Green Mill in Chicago, this time with one of the finest, most underrated American jazz singer, Ms. Sheila Jordan. Ms. Jordan (b. 1928) was a contemporary of Charlie Parker, and was briefly married to one of Parker's pianists, Duke Jordan. Until about 20 years ago, a day job kept her from pursuing singing full-time -- before then, Jordan sang with George Russell, Carla Bley and Roswell Rudd, and in the early 1960s recorded her debu
There are drummers, and then there is Bob Moses. [Holy Hyperbole, Batman!] Well, it’s true: there aren’t many jazz drummers like Bob Moses. To say his resume is impressive is a gross understatement (Gary Burton, R. Roland Kirk, Pat Metheny’s 1st album, Steve Kuhn, etc.); he’s a fascinating, effective and engaging composer/arranger a la Gil Evans and Carla Bley (a bunch of discs on Gramavision, officially out of print but well worth seeking); and he’s a helluva drummer, a descendant of Art Blakey
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